Submitted by New Jersey Criminal Lawyer, Jeffrey Hark.
14-2-7499 State v. DeLoach, App. Div. (per curiam) (20 pp.)
Issue: Facts presented to the court at a Motion to Suppress: What is the court allowed to rely upon and base its decisions.
Key Issue: The court must make finds of fact and conclusions of credibility of the testifying witnesses in support of any decision it makes.
Ruling: The court must find and make specific reference to sufficient credible evidence to support its final decision. Anything less than that will result in a reversal of the court’s ruling.
In this case the police officer proffered by the state for testimony did not actually see the gun in question which was the basis of the criminal charge; rather his partner did. The testifying police officer, the court ruled, did not explain to the court what the partner actually obsessed and how that other officer could have seen the gun which was ultimately seized.
Take away: For some unknown reason the state failed to bring the correct officer to court to testify at the Suppression hearing. You never know what will take place int he long procedural history of many criminal cases and ‘availability’ of witnesses. Never assume the state will get everything right and bring all the correct evidence or witnesses! They don’t!